Video game fans have a day of their own to celebrate with Video Games Day. The celebration of the entertainment medium is on Sept. 12 of every year and promotes the fast growing industry, asking people to give the games a chance. While video games remains one of the biggest entertainment forms in the world, they have not always been well adapted, specifically in the movie industry.
Here is a look at the highs and lows of video game movie adaptations.
“Mortal Kombat” – One of the early positive efforts in the video game adaptations was the movie “Mortal Kombat.” Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, this movie was a straight B-level action movie that succeeded due to the inclusion of elements of fun, as well as entertaining fight scenes. One major highlight is Christopher Lambert’s over-the-top cheesy performance as the God Raiden.
“Tomb Raider” – “Tomb Raider” was a great female empowerment action movie that helped Angelina Jolie become an action star. It is not a masterpiece by any means, but remains highly entertaining and one of the better female-led action movies in Hollywood history.
“Resident Evil” – Paul Anderson gets a lot of flak for his adaptations, but he did a good job in building “Resident Evil” from a simple adaptation of the very popular video game into a successful box office franchise. Milla Jovovich has starred in all the iterations and the most recent hits theaters in 2012.
“Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” – While some critics seemed to dislike it, “Prince of Persia” was a fun action movie based on one of the earliest action-adventure video games. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the Prince who sets out to save his kingdom using the mythical sands of time and ends up leading a very satisfying adventure film.
“Street Fighter” – While not the worst of the early video game adaptations, there is little to like in “Street Fighter.” The movie remains a typical Jean Claude Van-Damme action movie from the era, with the Muscles from Brussels trying to act alongside a hammy villain, portrayed entertainingly by Raul Julia. The classically trained theater actor is the only thing worth seeing in this movie.
“Hitman” – “Hitman” could have been an incredible movie, with the story of an assassin trained from birth for his job. However, Timothy Olyphant failed to impress in the lead role and too much of the movie was plagued with a ridiculous plot.
“Doom” – The best part about “Doom” was former WWE star The Rock running around shooting aliens with a big gun. Outside of that, the only thing the movie had going for it was killing aliens with big guns. Turn off your brain and it is enjoyable, on a base level, the first time you watch it.
“Super Mario Bros.” – Easily the worst of the early video game movies, “Super Mario Bros.” has Mario and Luigi setting out to save a parallel universe from a villain, portrayed by Dennis Hopper. This had to be a low point in Bob Hoskins career and is a movie best avoided at all costs.
“Max Payne” – Much like “Hitman,” the idea behind the video game adaptation “Max Payne” was interesting, with a police officer, portrayed by Mark Wahlberg, seeking revenge for the death of his wife and child. The problem is the movie was over-directed and the confusing story suffered as a result.
Uwe Boll – The worst of the worst when it comes to video game adaptations comes at the hands of Dr. Uwe Boll. From “House of the Dead” and “Alone in the Dark” to “BloodRayne” and “Far Cry,” no one tortures video game lovers more than Boll.